Elastic modulus and viscoelastic properties of full thickness skin characterised at micro scales

Crichton, Michael L., Chen, Xianfeng, Huang, Han and Kendall, Mark A. F. (2013) Elastic modulus and viscoelastic properties of full thickness skin characterised at micro scales. Biomaterials, 34 8: 2087-2097. doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2012.11.035


Author Crichton, Michael L.
Chen, Xianfeng
Huang, Han
Kendall, Mark A. F.
Total Author Count Override 4
Title Elastic modulus and viscoelastic properties of full thickness skin characterised at micro scales
Journal name Biomaterials   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0142-9612
1878-5905
Publication date 2013-03
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2012.11.035
Volume 34
Issue 8
Start page 2087
End page 2097
Total pages 11
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract The recent emergence of micro-devices for vaccine delivery into upper layers of the skin holds potential for increased immune responses using physical means to target abundant immune cell populations. A challenge in doing this has been a limited understanding of the skin elastic properties at the micro scale (i.e. on the order of a cell diameter; ∼10 μm). Here, we quantify skin's elastic properties at a micro-scale by fabricating customised probes of scales from sub- to super-cellular (0.5 μm–20 μm radius). We then probe full thickness skin; first with force-relaxation experiments and subsequently by elastic indentations. We find that skin's viscoelastic response is scale-independent: consistently a ∼40% decrease in normalised force over the first second, followed by further 10% reduction over 10 s. Using Prony series and Hertzian contact analyses, we determined the strain-rate independent elastic moduli of the skin. A high scale dependency was found: the smallest probe encountered the highest elastic modulus (∼30 MPa), whereas the 20 μm radius probe was lowest (below 1 MPa). We propose that this may be a result of the load distribution in skin facilitated by the hard corneocytes in the outermost skin layers, and softer living cell layers below.
Keyword Skin
Elastic modulus
Viscoelastic
Micro-probe
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 19 December 2012

 
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Created: Fri, 11 Jan 2013, 20:45:13 EST by Professor Han Huang on behalf of School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering